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7 alternative places to visit in the USA in 2017

Forget the Hollywood Sign, Empire State Building and Grand Canyon! We’re here to share with you those little hidden gems you’ve never thought about visiting in the USA. From prisons housing the world’s most infamous criminals to speakeasies hidden behind telephone boxes, museums full of shrunken heads and sleepy sloth sanctuaries, here’s our pick of 7 alternative places to visit in the USA in 2017…

1. Antelope Canyon

antelope canyon

Where?

Arizona, located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.

Why?

Due to its high levels of flash flooding Antelope Canyon is a particularly dangerous spot to visit. So dangerous it can only be reached with the help of a tour guide. However, thanks to millions of years’ worth of wind and water erosion Antelope Canyon’s sandstone is smooth, flowing and just downright gorgeous, making it one of the most photographed and visited slot canyons in America. Just THINK of those Instagrams!

2. Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Where?

San Francisco Bay, California

Why?

In all its 29 years of operation no prisoner has ever successfully escaped this prison… or so they claim! Also known as ‘The Rock’, Alcatraz held many famous American criminals such as Al Capone, Bumpy Johnson, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz). Take a tour and learn all about its rich history or for a bit of extra spook opt for the night tour!

3. A Sloth Sanctuary

sloth

Where?

Rainer, Oregon

Why?

Just look at his little, smiling sloth face! How could you not want to go? Sloth Captive Husbandry Centre in Oregon is home to the largest captive population of adult sloths in the WORLD! The guys over at the sloth centre are dedicated to the care and research on these unusual animals. The centre allows small groups to have up close encounters with the sloths. Imagine meeting the world’s most chilled out animal?

4. Telsa Coil at Griffith Observatory

telsa coil

www.atlasobscura.com

Where?

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California

Why?

This is one of the most impressive things you will see at the Griffith Observatory. The Telsa Coil throws out lightning bolts every hour on the hour. Situated in a newly designed alcove of the observatory, the loud zapping noises are amplified for maximum wow factor! Forget ALL about the views on the outside of the observatory.

5. Please Don’t Tell

t Tell speak easy entrance

bedfordandbowery.com

Where?

St. Mark’s Place, New York City

Why?

Well firstly, you have to enter via a telephone box! Even in this social media age, where nothing remains a secret, Please Don’t Tell seems to do a pretty good job at keeping itself hush hush.  A throwback to the speakeasy, prohibition days Please Don’t Tell is a glamourous little bar where the menu is unknown until entering. Its website is literally one page with a reservation phone number on it. Head to Crif Dogs, a late night fried hot dog joint, enter via the telephone box, dial the secret telephone number and the most exciting part is about to start!

The Museum of Weird

Museum of weird Austin Texas

museumoftheweird.com

Where?

Austin, Texas

Why?

Because dime museums are a dying breed! It may not look like much at first but Austin’s Museum of Weird is actually a very rare thing indeed. Created by Steve Busti artist and entrepreneur, it’s situated in the back of his ‘Lucky Lizard’ store. The museum houses many curious attractions including the feejee mermaid, a cyclops pig, a hand of glory (dried and pickled hand), two-headed chicken, shrunken heads and a mummies. It may cost a little more than a dime now, but the weirdness is certainly worth it!

6. San Fran Street Slides

STREET SLIDES SAN FRAN

sftodo.com

Where?

Seward Street, San Francisco

Why?

Slides. Grown-up slides people! Need we say more? Grab a trusty piece of cardboard, head to Seward Mini-Park and you’ll discover two giant slides tucked away behind the bushes. The sign on entering says ‘Adults must be accompanied by children’, it’s a whole heap of fun and a hidden treasure you’d never expect to find in San Fran!

7.Cadillac Ranch

A post shared by Sly & Gracie (@sly.gracie) on

Where?

Amarillo Texas, Route 66

Why?

Because who doesn’t love a Cadillac art installation? The Cadillac ranch is an iconic pit-stop along Route 66, not far from Amarillo. Also known as the ‘Caddy Ranch’ this public artwork display was created in 1974 by artists from San Francisco known as the Ant Farm. They wanted to show off the Cadillac’s tail fins and perplex the residents of Amarillo. The cars are supposed to be tilted at exactly the same angle as the faces of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, in Egypt! Ever since 1976 visitors have painted graffiti on them, so why not join in and take the ultimate Instagram snap?

There are so many undiscovered gems in the states. It’s not always about the tourist hot-spots! What will you discover on your USA adventure?
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